[Late June ’09 my first taste of summer]
After a long period trying to visit Spain I finally did it.
It was last June 2009 and my choice was…. city full of architecture marvelous, modern and at the same time full of Spanish historic see sites… the great Valencia.
[Little history facts of Valencia]
The province of Valencia and the city of Valencia is located on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast, on the Gulf of Valencia at the mouth of the Turia river.Throughout history, Valencia was one of the most important sea ports of the Iberian peninsula.
Valencia is 350 km from either Madrid to the west or Barcelona, to the north. It has estimated population at around 790,000 people. Residents of Valencia speak Spanish, of course, but you’ll also hear “Valenciano” when you’re touring the neighborhoods.
- Moderniste Architecture in Valencia
Valencia has seen its share of Moderniste architecture within its city limits. Ambling throughout the city streets, you’re likely to come across all sorts of constructions, however Valencia does have three stand-outs of Moderniste architecture. The first is the Mercado de Colón (Market of Colón), a former marketplace now filled with boutiques, cafés, and flower shops. Visually stunning, you can’t help but revel in the ceramic work and glass mosaics beaming with color.
- Neoclassical Architecture in Valencia
Valencia’s streets hold several examples of Neoclassical architecture, all of which – in true Neoclassical form – are of a monumental, intellectual nature. The first is the Antigua Universidad (Former University). Elegant both inside and out, the building features a cloister with doric columns and references to teaching, a façade that resembles an ancient temple with marble statues and, in general, an austere appearance devoid of unnecessary decoration.
- Baroque Architecture in Valencia
Valencia is known for its Baroque presence- especially livening up the façades of many of the city’s older buildings. The best example is perhaps the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, which features extravagant stylization inside and out as well as a huge purely Baroque alabaster doorway that resembling rushing water. In the Cathedral, which itself features a potpourri of architectural styles, the Capilla Mayor (the main chapel) as well as the main entrance into the Cathedral from the Plaza de la Reina are stunning examples of pure Baroque, as is the nearby Iglesia de los Santos Juanes (Church of the Saint Johns).
- Renaissance Architecture in Valencia
San juan de la cruzValencia serves up an attractive array of Renaissance architecture- mainly of the High Renaissance variety. Head to the Iglesia de San Juan de la Cruz (Church of Saint Juan of the Cross), a Renaissance church boasting a modestly but elegantly decorated façade- keep an eye open for the twisting salomonic columns as well as the perfectly vaulted dome. Other examples of Renaissance architecture in Valencia include the cloister and church of Santa Cruz, found within the complex of the Convento del Carmen (Convent of the Carmen), and the Colegio Seminario del Corpus Christi.
- Gothic Architecture in Valencia
Walking around Valencia, you’re likely to run into endless examples of stunning Gothic architecture. Perhaps the best example of Gothic architecture in Valencia is the Lonja de los Mercaderes; in fact, many experts believe it to be the best example of Gothic civil architecture in all of Europe! From the outside, the incredible structure looks exactly like a medieval castle straight from a fairy tale, complete with battlements, a tower, pointed windows, gargoyles, and exemplary Gothic exterior adornment. Inside, you’ll immediately notice the airy, spacious atmosphere created by its many windows as well as its elegant columns that raise spectacular vaults nearly 16 meters high!
In the El Carmen district, you’ll find the two surviving gateways of the medieval wall that once encircled the city. Looking up at the Torres de Serrano and Torres de Quart, focus on their battlements and fortification-like appearance- telling signs of their Gothic origins.
Heading from the Torres de Serrano southward brings you to the Cathedral, another top-notch example of Gothic architecture. Its layout with smaller chapels around the periphery, its octagonal tower, its two stories of enormous windows leading up to the dome and the Puerta de los Apóstoles are just a few of the Cathedral’s many Gothic elements.
- Romanesque Architecture in Valencia
RomanesqueThe Romanesque presence in Valencia, having made its way into thea rea from neighboring Cataluna, is primarily found in the portals of some of the city’st most emblematic structures. The first- and most well-known- is the Puerta del Palau of the Cathedral. While some of the moldings of its capitals are more Gothic in their nature-based themes, this entryway- its the one that leads into the Cathedral from the Plaza de la Virgen- is made of stone and features repeating geometric designs and layers of perfect arcos de medio punto (arches in the form of a complete and perfect semi-circle).
You can seek out the second and and lesser-known example of Romanesque architecture in Valencia in the Iglesia de San Vicente (Church of Saint Vicente), which still preserves its simple rectangular shape and its Romanesque doors. The best example is the door that leads to the cloister of the monastery to which it was attached- check out its capitals narrating the rather gory martyrdom of Saint Vicente!
[TODO – TOSEE]
When visiting Valencia you should absolutely take some time off and visit:
– Huge park Turia, connecting/crossing whole city
– CAS (City of Arts and Sciences)
– Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía
– El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe
The 87-acre site contains Hemispheric, housing a planetarium and imax theater, the Trojan helmet like Palau de les Artes and the hands-on Prince Felipe Museum of the Sciences (Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe), where you are encouraged to build and discover elements of science. There’s also L’Oceanogràfic, called the largest aquarium in Europe, housing species in pavilions named after their home oceans and seas. A covered garden view promenade called Umbracle brings it all together.
– IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern
– Marina with a huge part dedicated to American’s cup and part of F1 circuit
– Camp de Mestalla
– Bullring + Train Station
– The Old Port – part of F1 circuit
– FC VALENCIA if you are lucky go to see FC Valencia new football stadium, unfortunately when I visited this beautiful city it wasn’t jet completed. Construction works should be finished in May 09
– Las Fallas – Valencia’s Most Famous Festival:
Las Fallas is a festival held from March 12th to March 19th. What are Las Fallas? Huge papier-mache art sculptures are erected on almost every square. Usually there are around 300 of these, and most are indicative of social criticism and sarcasm. Then, on March 19th the Fallas are simultaneously burned at midnight in a ritual called “la nit del foc”
– Valencia – Old city and Mercato Central
Fans of covered markets will want to head over to Valencia’s huge central market, al Mercado Central de Valencia, for a fix. You’ll find 8000 square meters of market space inside the steel and glass building decorated with Valencian ceramic tiles. Nearby is the Llotja de a Seda, the Silk Exchange, in Placa del Mercat–a testament to Valencia’s lofty position in the silk trade.
You can see pictures in HD @ photo page or on my Flickr page.
Thanks to:http://www.wikipedia.com http://www.whatvalencia.com 0